TABUK CITY, Kalinga – A tribal court has started hearing a complaint filed by the Army over the ambush-slay last May 9 of its two soldiers while reportedly escorting election paraphernalia in this province.
Communist guerrillas, according to earlier reports, were behind the ambush, which also resulted in the wounding of at least six men of the Kalinga-based 17th Infantry Battalion.
The Matagoan Bodong Consultative Council chaired by Mayor Ferdinand Tubban of Tabuk, Kalinga’s capital, said it is acting on the complaint filed by the Army’s 5th Infantry Division that has jurisdiction over the 17th IB.
In its complaint, the Isabela-based 5th ID said its troops were merely assisting police and Commission on Elections personnel in transporting election materials to various parts of Kalinga when armed men attacked them in Dupag village, Tabuk City.
This, as communist guerrillas claimed responsibility over the killing of four soldiers and hurting five others in the second firefight with government troopers in the province on May 15.
This was six days after three troopers were killed when they were ambushed also in Tabuk, while on the way to deliver precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
Cordillera police, however, said only three were hurt and that the Marcial Daggay Front of the Lejo Cawilan Command of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Party Committee of the CPP-NPA in Kalinga said soldiers were waylaid along the road near the Ayaya Waiting Shed in Sitio Sidog, Barangay Limos, Pinukpuk, Kalinga.
According to Tipon Gil-ayab, spokesperson of the Kalinga NPA command, the casualties were all from the newly- transferred 17th Infantry Battalion.
Lt. Col. Alvin Flores, commanding officer of the 17th IB, based in Kapanikian, Camalog, also in Pinukpuk, confirmed that only three of his troops were wounded.
Gil-ayab, the ambush was staged by Red fighters from the Marcial Daggay Front in Pinukpuk.
He said the unit command of the MDF and civilians saw the four troopers killed while five other troopers were wounded.
Gil-ayab said “insiders from the AFP’s 5thInfantry Division confirm that from the initial four killed and five wounded, three more died from among those wounded bringing the figures to eight killed and two wounded.”
The casualties were all from the newly transferred and retrained 17th IB.
“To save face, Lt. Col. Alvin Flores, the commanding officer of the 17th IB, whose headquarters is based at Kapanikian, Camalog, Pinukpuk, told print and broadcast media that only three of their troops were wounded,” Gil-Ayab said.
He said there was no NPA casualty in both encounters.
“To downplay the NPA successful tactical offensives in the span of just five days, the AFP commanders proclaimed to the media that said ambushes were undertaken because “NPA candidates and party lists” lost in the recent elections,” Gil-Ayab said.
“This is clearly red-baiting to harass and malign progressive party lists and candidates.” – With a report from Charlie Lagasca
By Gina Dizon
SAGADA, Mountain Province -- No studies on the effect of wind turbine construction stalled information to guide affected folks on whether or not to give their consent on the proposed construction by Philcarbon Inc of a proposed 15 megawatt windfarm atop Pilaw-Langsayan ridge between the boundary here and nearby Besao.
This aside from no hydrogeology and soil tests, financial projections, and detailed engineering plans that participants during the May 20-24 meetings, wanted to know during the second general assembly of the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) process conducted by the national commission on indigenous peoples (NCIP) in barangays of Kiniway, Lacmaan, Padangaan, Besao West, Besao East, Suquib, Gueday, Agawa of Besao and northern barangays Bangaan, Pide, Aguid, Fidelisan, Tanulong, Poblacion, Dagdag and Demang of this town who noted absence of technical and detailed information to guide affected folks in said areas to come up with a decision.
Bangaan Todyog from Bangaan barangay aired hesitation on the installation of wind turbines which might hit water sources and may divert water to either adjoining Besao or Sagada and may trigger conflict between the two tribes.
Philcarbon consultant Marijo Macaldo from Apercu Consultants and Philcarbon director Leonides Natera said steps shall be done not to hit water sources on the construction of the windmill turbines but were not able to provide studies on the assurance that water systems shall not be hit.
The Pilaw-Langsayan ridge sits on a critical watershed where hundreds of villagers from identified barangays cited above source their domestic and irrigation water to nearby rice fields and vegetable patches.
The FPIC process on the conduct of a second general assembly lets applicant Philcarbon present their engineering work plan and feasibility studies, and other relevant information to inform affected folks on the company’s proposed windfarm project .
Noting lack of tests and information on the proposed windfarm, community leader Henry Aquin from Besao said the people of the affected barangays should be informed so as to let them be fully appraised of what the project is all about and guide them in coming up with a decision of whether to allow the windfarm or not.
Indigenous Peoples representative to the Sangguniang Bayan of Besao, Ben Marrero also forwarded that environmental studies have not reached the legislative body of said community.
Women leader Janet Otinggey from Besao is fearful that the weight of the turbine might someday in the future give way and cause a landslide.
There is no soil or hydrogeology tests by the proponent though studies shall be done later , Natera and Macaldo said.
The environmental impact assessment conducted by Philcarbon and submitted to the department of environment and natural resources did a vegetative, water resource, and bird path assessment on the proposed windfarm.
FPIC guidelines provide for at least 2 months decision period following the second general assembly of the FPIC process.
Affected folks in Besao asked for an extension of decision making pending the needed information from Philcarbon.
Though barangay captain of Fidelisan James Duyog said the village constituents already decided that they don’t want the project including affected folks from Agawa, further forwarding threats of landslides that might happen in the future.
Community leader and former kagawad Langbay Suyon from Aguid further noted that people don’t want the project so urged people to state their negative position to the proposed project.
Community leader Bernabe Dekdeken of barangay Agawa, Besao was doubtful on the surface studies conducted by Philcarbon on the distance of water springs from the proposed turbine and stated his negative stand on proposed windfarm.
In the midst of environmental questions on the proposed windfarm, engineer Ronaldo Angeles of the Department of Energy said “there is yet no detailed study on wind energy” in the country.
With the full blown implementation of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, there are 33 wind-based energy projects in the Philippines currently on their exploration stage. Should the Sagada-Besao windfarm proceed, this shall be the first windfarm built on a watershed in the country.
Philcarbon assured the public during the May consultation 2012 that they shall undergo an environmental impact assessment, a requirement before the Environmental Clearance Certificate shall be issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
An ECC was issued November 12, 2012 to Philcarbon by the Environmental Management Bureau detailing the conditions and requirements of conducting the proposed wind farm based on the environmental impact assessment submitted by Philcarbon and instructed further submission of permits prior to operation and conduct of monitoring activities during operational stage.
Angeles said the necessary permit and clearances as those needed from the concerned local governments units and agencies as the department of environment and natural resources including a land use permit and an FPIC from the NCIP has to be submitted to DOE before any construction shall be done.
The granting of the service contract by DOE to Philcarbon is not automatic to start operations, Angeles said, saying further that if the people don’t want the project as manifested in a no-consent certification then the DOE cannot issue a notice to construct said project.
There are 10 proposed turbines spanning 4-5 kilometers along the Langsayan-Pilaw Ridge covering a 648 hectare application to DOE, and an 8 kilometer transmission route from the ridge to sitio Pegew to connect to the national electrical grid.
Although Natera said Philcarbon is not yet sure on how many hectares is the coverage of the proposed windfarm saying they “shall give back” to the Department of Energy what shall not be used.
The first community assembly validated findings of the field based investigations taking note of the extent of the ancestral domain and the indigenous peoples who are going to be affected including the proposed sites.
Negotiation and a memorandum of agreement follow approval should the affected folks favor the proposed project, otherwise, no MOA shall be done if not.
By Dexter A. See
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan branded the disqualification cases filed against him before the Commission on elections a desperate act of his rivals to unceremoniously unseat him and undermine the will of the city’s electorate to re-elect him as the local chief executive.
In a 4-page counter-affidavit submitted to the Comelec en banc, Domogan said “there is absolutely no truth to the accusation against him for vote-buying in all the nine consecutive elections that he underwent which he consistently won.”
He said the people of Baguio could attest to the fact that his campaign has always been based on issues and performance, thus, the complaint against him for vote-buying has no basis.
On the alleged proposal from the group of barangay officials of Irisan barangay, he denied having direct knowledge on the proposal of some Irisan barangay officials for their campaign expenditures amounting to around P400,000 and that the same was not meant for vote-buying but instead for their campaign expenditures.
In the joint affidavit of Irisan punong barangay Thomas Dumalti and five of his kagawads, they claimed the submission of the aforesaid proposal was held in abeyance because of some concerns but before the submission of the proposal, the drawer of kagawad Philip Tanawe where he kept the proposal was forced open and the proposal was taken and to their surprise it was subsequently exposed through the media.
The joint affidavit of Irisan barangay officials confirm that Domogan and other Timpuyog ti Baguio candidates were not furnished the controversial proposal.
On the alleged use of Burnham Park reservation as the headquarters of the Timpuyog ti Baguio during the campaign period, Domogan said buildings utilized by the group as its headquarters are private properties owned by the Baguio City Host Lions club, Inc. and the Baguio city Pines Lions club for which were assessed for the use of the facilities from March 27, to May 15, 2013.
By doing so, the city mayor said the Timpuyog ti Baguio did not utilize government property during the campaign period and in fact, the group used the private properties and facilities of the two Lions Club for consideration and that the group hopes to be able to extend help to the needy since the payments are in the form of donations which will be used to finance the club’s various medical missions and other community activities for the indigents in Baguio and other parts of the country.
On the release of educational financial assistance to student beneficiaries, Domogan clarified that the said program, which is giving educational financial assistance to the poor but deserving students permanently residing in the city, trace its existence in 2001 when he founded it during his incumbency as then the congressman of the city and then Rep. Bernardo M. Vergara as then mayor of the city.
“From 2001 up to the second semester of schoolyear 2010, the said program was totally funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of your answering respondent in his capacity as congressman during the period that reached a budget of P14 million per year. Fortunately, Rep. Vergara, the partymate of herein respondent won as congressman of Baguio City in the 2010 elections,”Domogan stressed, adding that as part of the team, Vergara committed to continue the said program and earmarked P14 million per year from his PDAF for the purpose and that their partnership sustained the implementation of the program up to the present thereby benefitting thousands of poor and qualified student beneficiaries.
Under the program, which is being implemented by and through a committee consisting of 12 members, the beneficiaries receive their educational financial assistance in the amount of P7,000 towards the end and before the final examination of every semester to ensure that the parents of the beneficiaries had done their part in paying their share in the tuition fees of their children and to ensure that the beneficiaries attend their subjects they enrolled in.
Äs always, the distribution of the financial assistance is being done at the Baguio Convention Center and in the presence of the parents of the beneficiaries during which Vergara and Mayor Domogan are being invited to give inspirational messages to the parents and the beneficiaries, “he said, citing that the distribution of the educational financial assistance in the morning of March 17, 2013 was initially scheduled on March 3, 2013 but was moved to the earlier stated date due to the failure of some of the beneficiaries to accomplish the requirements for the preparation of the required payroll.
Domogan argued their presence during the occasion, which is usually being done everytime the financial assistance is being released, was upon invitation of the committee, for them to deliver their inspirational messages exhorting the parents to guide their children and to advise the students to be serious in their studies.
Domogan said release of the financial assistance last March 17, 2013 was done at the Baguio Convention Center openly and publicly in the presence of media personalities which is a clear indication that it was not intended to buy votes but part of a regular program established over ten years ago and which had been going on for years be it election year or not.
Domogan also questioned the video that was used as one of the evidence in the disqualification case considering that the face of Cong. Vergara and the tarpaulin clearly indicating the purpose of the program were deliberately blurred while his face was the one clearly shown thereby indicating that such evidence was mutilated and edited to suit the interest of his critics.
He asked the Comelec en banc to consider his defense that are supported by corresponding affidavits and dismiss the disqualification case for lack of merit.
By Aiza Liza P. Namingit
LAGAWE, Ifugao – Reelected Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat will pursue in Congress to attain Cordillera autonomy as mandated under the 1987 Constitution.
“Granting autonomy to the Cordillera is one constitutional provision that has not been fulfilled. So instead of talking about changes to the constitution, perhaps we should first seek to fulfill the mandates of the constitution such as Cordillera autonomy,” said Baguilat.
In the 15th Congress, which will end its sessions in June, the five Cordillera Administrative Region AR Representatives – Eleanor Begtang of Apayao, Bernardo Vergara of Baguio City, Baguilat, Manuel Agyao of Kalinga and Maximo Dalog of Mt. Province – filed House Bill 5595 that sought to create a Cordillera Autonomous Region.
The bill, however, did not progress due to questions on how exactly the autonomous region will work, considering there remain issues on the autonomy granted to Muslim Mindanao.
Also, the lack of grassroots consultation was considered a hindrance to the Bill’s congress as many Cordillerans remain undecided or indifferent to the proposed Organic Act.
“We don’t want to force the issue when the people have not fully understood why autonomy is our right and what the benefits are for the Region”, Baguilat said.
He added, however, that he would push ahead with filing another bill on Cordillera autonomy in the next congress as the Cordillerans are more than ready for self- rule, in deference to their long history of struggle for self-determination and unique customs and traditions.
The Regional Development Council of the Cordillera Administrative Region has been working on the proposed third Cordillera Autonomy Organic Act and Baguilat said that he would take the inputs under serious consideration when the bill is refilled in the next congress.#
TUGUEGARAO CITY – Isabela police director Senior Supt. Sotero Ramos Tuesday ordered an investigation of an alleged human organ syndicate operating in the province that has dragged the name of a reelected municipal mayor.
Ramos said a 15-year-old girl reported to the Cauayan City police that unidentified men kidnapped her on May 12 and held her captive for three days in a warehouse in Barangay Yeban owned by Benito Soliven town Mayor Benjamin Sanglay.
The girl reportedly said three other victims, who were in a jute sack, were in the warehouse with her.
Sanglay denied any knowledge about the kidnapping although he admitted owning the warehouse.
He said his detractors were behind the black propaganda against him.
By Susan Aro
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Majority of incumbent officials in the province and municipalities retained their posts in the May 13 elections.
Rep. Ronald Cosalan was re-elected garnering a total of 85,534 votes over his opponent Crescencio Pacalso who had 65,620 while Renan Munar had 582 votes.
For the gubernatorial post, it was a landslide victory for re-electionist Nestor Fongwan with a total vote of 108,950 against Jerome Selmo who had 34,994 votes.
Nelson Dangwa topped the vice gubernatorial post with 72,546 votes.
His opponents, Juan Nazarro Jr got 35,596 votes while Apolinario Camsol had 34,313 votes.
Both are lawyers.
Elected board members for District 1 covering the towns of Bokod, Itogon, Kabayan, Sablan, and Tuba are re-electionists Johnny Waguis( 26,128 votes), Alfonso Fianza(20,598 votes) and Benjamin Saguid(19,841 votes). The only newcomer is Esteban Piok(25,558 votes).
For District 2 board members covering the municipalities of Atok, Bakun, Buguias, Kapangan, Kibungan, Mankayan, Tublay and this capital town are re-electionists Concepcion Balao (50,152 votes), Florence Tingbaoen(49,051), and Nardo Cayat(39,141). New comers who are all from this capital town are Jack Dulnuan(40,617 votes) Robert Namoro(31,683) and Jim Botiwey(31,640).
At the municipal level, five of incumbent mayors were unopposed namely Bokod Mayor Mauricio Macay, Kabayan Mayor Faustino Aquisan, Kibungan Mayor Benito Siadto, Sablan Mayor Arthur Baldo, and Tublay Mayor Ruben Paoad.
On the other hand, re-elected mayors were incumbent mayors Peter Alos of Atok, Melchor Diclas of Buguias, Roberto Canuto of Kapangan, Materno Luspian of Mankayan, and Florencio Bentrez of Tuba.
Comebacking Edna Tabanda won mayoralty race in La Trinidad.
The towns of Itogon and Bakun have new mayors -- lawyer Victorio Palangdan and Faustino Lambinio, respectively.
For the vice mayoralty post, this town’s incumbent Vice Mayor Romeo Salda run unopposed.
Five incumbent vice mayors were given fresh mandates: Marson Lay-at of Atok, Ireneo Calwag of Buguias, Aureina Sacpa of Kibungan, , Clarita Sal-ongan of Tuba, and Armando Lauro of Tublay.
Newly elected vice mayors were Edwin Bandao of Bakun, Thomas Wales Jr. of Bokod, Adriano Carantes Jr. of Itogon, Gideon Todiano of Kabayan, Manny Fermin of Atok, Dario Banario of Mankayan, and Manuel Munar Jr of Sablan.
State pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) announced that beginning July 2013, government employees working in agencies who are delayed or deficient in their premium payments will not have their loan privileges suspended anymore.
The new policy also provides remedial guidelines for agencies already suspended so that their employees’ GSIS privileges can be restored.
On April 25, the GSIS Board approved a new policy which addressed agencies’ non-remittance of premium contributions, without resorting to the suspension of the loan privileges of its employees.
“It’s wrong that these employees lose their access to GSIS loan windows and dividends when their social insurance contributions are mandatorily deducted from their salaries,” said President and General Manager Robert Vergara.
“This is a welcome development because public school teachers heavily depend on GSIS loans to pay for the schooling of their children. We are so glad that the new GSIS Board is implementing reforms in their policies to help small earners among government employees make both ends meet,” Benjie Valbuena, president of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and Manila Public School Teachers’ Association (MPSTA) said upon hearing the news.
Similarly, Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) chairperson Benjo Basas commended the new GSIS management for hearing out its members’ plea to spare them from the iniquities of their employers.
“Maraming salamat sa dramatic improvement sa pagtrato sa aming mga miyembro. Nakikinig na ang GSIS ngayon sa aming mga miyembro at kinukunsidera na ang aming opinion. Sana ay magpatuloy pa ito,” Basas exclaimed.
Section 6 of Republic Act 8291 or the GSIS Act of 1997 provides that “…the employer shall deduct each month from the monthly salary or compensation of each employee the contribution payable by him …”.
Suspended agencies may choose any of three options to restore their regular status.
They may pay their premium delinquencies in full; or restructure their arrearages and commit to settling these through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with GSIS; or upon payment of at least 90% of any three consecutive months’ premium obligations beginning July 2013, sign an undertaking to enter into a MOA with GSIS for the settlement of its premium deficiencies.
To date, more than 200 agencies have concluded similar agreements with the pension fund -- restoring the full benefits of over 800,000 employees, including the Department of Education.
PGM Vergara explained that unless the suspended agency pays its arrears in full or honors its obligation to pay under the terms of the agreement, retirement benefits of employees will be based on periods with paid premiums. However, GSIS will still consider the total length of service in determining the eligibility of members to retirement, or a minimum of 15 years.
Meanwhile, delinquent agencies defined as those who fail to remit at least 90% of the mandatory premium contributions for a due month (10th day of the following month) or comply with the terms of their agreement, will receive the appropriate demand letter and a subsequent notice of default from GSIS should the amounts remain unpaid.
These notices will remind agencies that GSIS has not received the prescribed amount for the due month and continued non-payment will reduce their employees' entitlements adversely impacting their loanable amounts and retirement benefits.
GSIS will also coordinate with Agency Authorized Officers and heads of employees’ union and personnel office to inform them on the failure of their agencies to remit the required payments.
“We enlist our members’ cooperation to ensure that the mandatory premium obligations and other amounts due the pension fund are remitted to the System to guarantee they receive the correct level of benefits.”
BAGUIO CITY -- The Cordilleran army officer who was tagged in the disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos in Quezon City denied any participation in the crime, saying he was in his in Besao, his hometown in Mountain Province the day the abduction took place in Quezon City.
Major Harry Baliaga Jr. said he was a victim of mistaken identity adding he was made responsible for a crime he never committed.
The Court of Appeals, which enforced the Writ of Amparo in the disappearance of Burgos, held Baliaga and the Armed Forces of the Philippines accountable for the crime.
Baliaga said the court disregarded his mother’s testimony and evidence proving he was in Besao when Burgos was forcibly taken at the Ever Gotesco Mall in Quezon City on April 28, 2007.
Instead, the CA gave more weight to the report of the Commission on Human Rights, where witness Jeffrey Cabintoy identified him as the leader of the group that abducted Burgos.
But Rachel, Baliaga’s wife, said the CHR was not objective in its investigation.
“The CHR never bothered to get my husband’s side. They even said it was a waste of time since he can defend himself in court anyway. They came up with a one-sided investigation,” Rachel said.
Baliaga’s camp has been questioning the credibility of the CHR witness.
In naming him, the CHR produced the photograph grabbed from the Facebook account of Philippine Military Academy Sanghaya Class 2000 where Baliaga belonged.
The CHR said the person encircled by the witness in the photograph was Baliaga.
“But that person was not me. It was my classmate. He testified in court that it was him, to no avail,” Baliaga said.
Baliaga added the court did not give weight to the fact that he was no longer assigned with the 56th Infantry Battalion, the military group said to have carried out Burgos’ abduction, when it allegedly carried out the enforced disappearance.
“The commander of the 56th IB executed an affidavit that I was not under his supervision when the crime took place but just the same, the court did not give merit to this,” Baliaga said.
In rendering its ruling, the CA regarded Baliaga’s defenses as mere alibis, saying these could not prevail over the fact that he was positively identified by the witness.
Rachel said the family has suffered so much anxiety and wished this will come to an end to soonest.
“I hope Jonas Burgos surfaces so we can be cleared and all can move on,” she said.
“We recognize the agony of Burgos’ family, but just the same, my family is also suffering because of this case,” she said.
Baliaga is also wishing his name will be cleared for the sake of his three kids.
“My eldest will soon go to school and I want to be cleared of this mess since he is my namesake,” he said.
Brothers stabbed; one dead, another wounded
BUGUIAS, Benguet – Police are trying to identify suspects who attacked two brothers which resulted to the death of one and wounding of another.
A police report said at about 11:30 p.m. of May 20, Domingo Penetrante, 63,farmer of Abangkawan, Bangao, Buguias, Benguet, reported to police that his son, Jayson Penetrante arrived home with multiple stab wounds and that his other son Nelson was left at the place of incident.
Investigation revealed victims were attacked by unidentified suspects.
Jayson was able to evade their assailant and went home. He was rushed to the Abatan Emergency Hospital and later transferred to Baguio General Hospital. and Medical Center, Baguio City.
His brother Nelson was brought to Lutheran Hospital by Buguias police but was declared dead on arrival by a physician due to multiple stab wounds.
The incident happened at around 10:30 p.m. of May 20 at Moling, Bangao, Buguias, Benguet
2 rebels surrender to Ilocos Sur police
STA LUCIA, Ilcos Sur -- Two members of the New People’s Army, one of them a woman, surrendered to police here May 19.
Chief Insp. Benedicto Cardenas, town police chief, said Reynaldo Haban, chairman of Barangay Palali, facilitated the surrender of his relative, Angelito Haban, 37, of Morong in Bataan, and Ann Asido, of Masinloc, Zambales.
No additional details were released regarding the surrender of the two, who are believed lovers, pending assessment by the military.
Man arrested for robbing cell phone in Nissan Patrol
BAGUIO CITY -- A Nissan Patrol vehicle bearing plate no. XPP-357 owned by Jaime Laduan, 37, of Tiptop, Ambuclao Road here, was allegedly robbed by Charlie Aboy, 27, here of Scout Barrio around 2 p.m. on May 20, a police report said.
His companion, a certain Lupin, eluded arrest. The incident took place at Club Paradise, Km. 4, Marcos Highway, Bakakeng Central in this city.
Police probe revealed the suspects opened the vehicle with the use of pick-lock.
They took away one cell phone worth P1,000.00. The security guard of said club, a certain Jerry Vansuela and Madeline Umipig, reported the incident to the police who acted swiftly and arrested Aboy.
The case is ready for inquest proceedings while investigation is on to identify and arrest the other suspect.
Taxi driver robbed of P1K by 3 unidentified men
BAGUIO CITY – A taxi driver was robbed of his earnings for the day worth P1,000 at about 11:30 p.m. on May 20 here along General Lim Road.
A police report said Alexander Zarzua, 24, of San Carlos Heights here by still unidentified three male men.
Investigation disclosed that the victim was flagged down by perpetrators and ordered him to ferry them to Dr. Cariño Street, when suddenly one of the suspects held his neck, while the other pointed an ice-pick at him, then they took away his money.
Responding personnel of police Station 5 together with the complainant later scoured the place and patrolled nearby areas but suspects were nowhere in sight.
Three finger prints of the suspects were taken at the passenger window. Fingerprints were submitted to the crime laboratory for examination.
Isabela village chief, 3 tanods survive ambush
TUGUEGARAO CITY – Police have yet to identify men who ambushed a village chief and three of his tanods (barangay watchmen) which the victims survived unhurt.
The victims were shot after attending a wedding reception in San Pablo, Isabela night of May 18, police said.
Barangay chairman Bricsio Gummaru and his tanods were cruising Sitio Flaviano, Barangay Dalena in San Pablo on board an Isuzu truck when they were waylaid.
Amid the gunfire, Gummaru and his men managed to jump off the truck and run for their safety.
Supt. Narciso Paragas, spokesman of the Isabela police, said the ambush was the first violent incident reported after the generally peaceful elections in the province.
Police were investigating if the attack was politically motivated.
Man jailed in Abra for gun ban violation
BANGUED, Abra – A certain Marc Dan Acosta was locked in jail here May 20 for violation of the Commission on Elections gun ban.
A case was filed against Acosta at the Municipal Trial court, and Regional Trial Court, Bangued, Abra.
The suspect was incarcerated at the provincial jail on order of Corpus B Alzate, executive judge of the Regional Trial Court.
Man nabbed for homicide, damage to property
KABUGAO, Apayao – Local police arrested May 20 a certain Renie Ablingan, 39, farmer, resident of Barangay Luttuacan here for reckless imprudence resulting to homicide and damage to property.
Maita Grace A. Deray Israel, presiding judge of MTCC Second Judicial Region, Branch 3 Tuguegarao, Cagayan, recommended bail of P30, 000 for Ablingan’s temporary liberty.
Crime syndicate leader nabbed
CAMP GEN. FLORENDO, La Union — Chief Supt. Ricardo C. Marquez, Police Regional Office 1, announced last week the arrest of an alleged leader of a crime syndicate known in Ilocandia as the “Espada Group.”
Marquez said joint police operatives arrested Loreto Y. Aquino, 33, at a checkpoint in Barangay Say-oan, Bacnotan, La Union.
It was learned that Aquino was the subject of three warrants of arrest issued by courts in La Union and Benguet.
He was arrested along with Rey S. Carino, 27, for alleged violation of the election gun ban after yielding a .30-caliber Carbine rifle. -- Mar T. Supnad
Boy helps father mine for gold, falls to his death
ITOGON, Benguet – A 15-year-old boy fell down a ravine here which resulted to his death around 11 a.m. on May 19.
Police identified the victim as Junel Siasa of Goldfield, Poblacion here and native of Guinyangan, Quezon, Province.
Police investigation disclosed morning of May 19, the victim went with his stepfather Jil Bigo Dela Torre, inside the tunnel to extract gold ores.
While Torre was busy extracting gold ores, he did not notice that his son went about 25 meters away from his working place and accidentally fell into the ravine about 15 meters deep.
The father immediately sought help from other miners and they were able to retrieve his son who died due to wounds.
Itogon municipal health officer Oliver C Guadaña, said the cause of death was due to severe blood loss due to injuries.
Father commits suicide after argument with son
PIDIGAN, Abra – A heated argument between a father and his son resulted to the death of the former.
Police said around 1 p.m. of May 20, they received information that an alleged suicide victim was taken to Abra Provincial Hospital in the capital town of Bangued.
The victim was identified as Ernesto Llanosa Bargas, 51,farmer, resident of Barangay Pangtud, Pidigan.
Police probe revealed prior to the incident, the victim and his son, Rickson Bargas, had a heated argument regarding the victim’s drinking habits prompting them to leave their father and take refuge at the house of their relatives.
At around 3 a.m. of May 20, the victim’s sister in law, Josie Bargas, discovered the body of the victim hanging inside a hut in front of their house with a nylon cord looped around his neck with its end tied to a wooden beam.
The body of the victim was later taken to Saint Peter Funeral Homes. The family refused autopsy of the body.
Beneco vehicle falls down Tuba ravine; crew unhurt
TUBA, Benguet -- An Izuzo elf vehicle owned by the Benguet Elelctric Coop fell down a ravine here along Marcos Highway in Barangay Badiwan around 11 a.m. on May 20.
A police report said the vehicle was being driven by Bernardo Camilo, 32, Beneco lineman, when it fell down the ravine of about 15 feet.
Investigation disclosed while the vehicle was negotiating and descending the said road towards Pangasinan, the driver felt that the brake was not functioning prompting him to swerve to the right side of the road.
As a result, said vehicle fell into the ravine. The driver and his crew were brought to Baguio General Hospital, Baguio City for medical treatment where the attending physician declared them unhurt.
Man sits on bench, dies clutching chest
BAGUIO CITY -- A man sitting alone on a bench here died May 20 but cause of death was not determined.
A police report said at about 4:45 p.m. on May 20, personnel of Police Station 5 went to General Lim St., Burnham Legarda, acting on a report regarding a dead body of a male person identified as Francisco Gregorio, 65, resident of said place.
Interview conducted on a certain Reggie Rosario, 29, married, driver of Holy Water Delivery revealed he saw Gregorio sitting alone on a bench and holding his left abdomen.
He suddenly fell down the pavement. Rosario and other neighbors responded but Gregorio laid motionless prompting them to call for assistance.
Responding emergency medical personnel found Gregorio had no pulse and had stopped breathing.
The victim was later brought to the La Paz Funeral Homes.
Grenade lobbers of town mayor’s house unidentified
URDANETA CITY, Pangasinan – The men who hurled a grenade at the house here of Mayor Amadeo G.E. Perez IV morning of May 12 have yet to be identified, police said.
The grenade did not explode and investigators are puzzled on motive of the attack since Perez, who ran for re-election under the Nationalist People’s Coalition, was unopposed.
One of Perez’ security personnel said he heard a loud sound at the main gate, but did not check it, thinking that it was only a vehicular accident outside the compound.
When Perez’ house helper went out at around 6:30 a.m., she saw a metal object in front of the main door and called the attention of the security personnel.
Responding policemen recovered parts of the hand grenade, including the safety pin and safety lever.
The grenade was recovered at around 9:20 a.m. and defused.
Estafa complaint filed against contractor
BAGUIO CITY – A certain Flora Belalama Quiambao, 28, resident of Magsaysay Avenue here lodged a complaint for estafa against Richard Delos Santos, resident of Engineers Hill, Baguio City.
Police investigation disclosed the suspect allegedly took an advance payment of P14,000.00 from the complainant on March 21 to buy construction materials for the renovation of the Deliza Store owned by the brother of the complainant located here along Naguilian Road, Lourdes Extension Subdivision.
The respondent again reportedly took P9,000,00 on April 16, 2013 but since then, did not continue the construction.
Complainant brought the matter before the Katarungang Pambarangay but the respondent reportedly never appeared during three scheduled hearings, hence, the complaint before the police.
Teacher shot dead in her home buried
SAN GUILLERMA, Isabela – A female public school teacher was buried here last week after she was shot in her home by ski mask-wearing man night before election day.
Senior Supt. Sotero Ramos Jr., Isabela police director, said probers were eyeing land dispute and personal grudge as possible motives behind the killing of May Aquinde, 36.
Ramos said the gunman, armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and a .38-caliber revolver, first accosted Aquinde’s husband Elmer who was playing billiard near their house in Barangay Guam, and their 13-year-old son and told them to go inside their house.
Upon seeing Aquinde, the man shot her in the right temple, killing her on the spot.
Senior Insp. Richard Babaran, San Guillermo police chief, said they were not concluding that the Aquinde slay was election-elected as other angles were being pursued.
Elsewhere in Isabela, seven men wearing ski masks waylaid a certain Angel Cauan, 53, while on his way home on his motorcycle in Jones town night of May 12.
Police said Cauan was able to flee his attackers and brought himself to a hospital for his bullet wounds.
Two incidents of indiscriminate firing, meanwhile, were reported in Gamu and Palanan towns.
In Gamu, a certain Orlino Salvador, said to be a supporter of Mayor Fernando Cumigad, was held after he fired his gun night of May 12.
In Palanan, unidentified men fired shots in Marikit village and left threatening notes with M-14 bullets attached.
Resort owner found dead in Isabela
SAN ISIDRO, Isabela – An 87-year-old widow was found dead in her resort here in Barangay Rizal East May 19.
The body of Felomina Alla, owner of Malla Resort, was found by her granddaughter beside the swimming pool at around 6 p.m.
Supt. Narciso Paragas, spokesman for the Isabela police, said the victim might have slipped and hit her head on the floor.
Police have yet to determine if there was foul play involved in her death.
Ilocos Norte vice mayor, councilor make peace
LAOAG CITY, – The vice mayor and a councilor of Burgos, Ilocos Norte who were reported to have figured in a fistfight at the town’s police station have patched up their differences.
Re-electionist Vice Mayor Rey Espejo and councilor Joseph Ramirez made peace upon the intervention of Burgos Mayor Cresente Garcia.
Ramirez’s brother Jojie, a barangay chairman, is pitted against Espejo in the town’s vice mayoral race. – Teddy Molina
Suspect in shooting of old lady nabbed
VINTAR, Ilocos Norte — One of the suspects in the fatal shooting of a 77-year-old woman in Barangay 1, San Roque here on May 10 was arrested last week, police said.
Chief Insp. Jaime Quiocho, Vintar chief of police, said probers are still interrogating Odilon Pindao, a native from San Isidro Sur, Luna, Apayao and resident of Laoag City, on motive in the killing of local senior citizen, Pacita Foronda.
Quiocho said the hunt for the triggerman is ongoing. -- Freddie G. Lazaro
Men in slay of bocap, injury of another hunted
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – Police are still looking for two motorcycle-riding men who shot dead a barangay chairman and wounded another in San Miguel, Bulacan dawn May 4.
Ronnie Roura, 40, died on the spot, while tricycle driver Emmanuel Manabat sustained a gunshot wound in the body.
Senior Supt. Joel Ordona, Bulacan police provincial director, said Roura and his wife, Lotus, were on Manabat’s tricycle when the suspects fired at them in Barangay Poblacion.
Lotus survived the attack. The couple was on the way home when the incident happened.
Investigators recovered six shells for a caliber .45 revolver at the crime site.
They have yet to determine whether the killing was election-related.
Police created task force Roura to dig deeper into the incident.
Man punches drinking partner
BAUKO, Mountain Province – Barangay officials here are set to hear complaint against a man who punched his drinking partner during heated argument while they were drinking.
A police report said at about 2:30 a.m. of May 20 here in Barangay Mayag, victim Rudy Langbayan Siagan, 53, native of Salapadan, Abra was punched twice on his face by the suspect identified as Rafael Bulasoy, 35, married and a resident of Leseb, Bauko.
Bulasoy immediately left the place. Case was endorsed to the Barangay Lupon of Mayag, Bauko for action.